Ash loving life as Mrs Bachchan

Bollywood 28/08/2007

Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai may have just married into Indian cinema’s most powerful acting dynasty, but she seems unfazed by her illustrious in-laws, saying they are just “family to me.”

Rai, one of only a handful of Bollywood stars with crossover appeal thanks to films such as “Bride And Prejudice,” married fellow star Abhishek Bachchan in April, creating what Indian media have dubbed the “ultimate power couple.”

Bachchan is the son of Amitabh Bachchan, the godfather of Indian cinema who was voted biggest star of the millennium in a 1999 BBC poll, beating Sir Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe.

The newlyweds are widely known as “Abhiash,” an amalgam of their names which echoes the “Brangelina” nickname of their closest Hollywood equivalents, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Rai was present at Leeds Metropolitan University, north England where her father-in-law, actress Shabana Azmi and producer/director Yash Chopra received honorary degrees during the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFAs).

Asked how it feels being part of such a famous family, she laughed, cast a glimpse towards her nearby husband and said: “It’s all great — well, they’re family to me and that’s what makes it most special.”

The emerald-eye former Miss World also spoke of her excitement at the “Unforgettable” world tour, kicking off in April 2008, when she will appear on the stage with Bachchan father and son for the first time.

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